I have noticed that a lot of members are eagerly awaiting the release of M&Ps in .357 SIG. Its understandable if someone chooses .357 SIG because it is their favorite caliber, but there are a lot of ideas that people have regarding it's performance. The expectations that some have of this caliber do not appear to be supported by DocGKR, regarded as an expert in this field. Some might find his comments interesting.
Just for fun and to perplex your friends, hang a cadaver or if you are short of those, a 200 lbs punching bag, then shoot it with a 9mm followed by a .357 Sig...guess what, there is no difference in movement. Hmmm......
Interesting, in both our testing and that done by the FBI, there was no major differences in terminal performance when assessing the better performing loads in 9mm compared to .357 Sig. http://184.108.40.206/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000432.html
Is the .357 Sig bad? NO! It is a very reliably performing 9mm bullet, but it is does not offer significantly better terminal performance compared with the best current 9mm ammunition.
Most .357 Sig loadings, unless the fail to expand, do not offer excessive penetration; in fact, the exact opposite, underpenetration, can be a problem.
When firing through heavy clothing, automotive steel panels, automobile windshield glass, interior wall segments, exterior wall segments, and plywood, both the .357 Sig Speer 125 gr JHP Gold Dot and 9mm Speer 124 gr +P JHP Gold Dot exhibited nearly identical penetration and expansion results THROUGH ALL THE DIFFERENT BARRIERS, as demonstrated by both our testing and that of the FBI. Several .40 S&W and .45 ACP loads offered superior terminal performance through barriers compared to the 9mm and .357 Sig loads.
The .357 Sig is not a bad cartridge, it just does not seem to offer anything that is not already available, at the price of less ammunition capacity than the similarly performing 9mm, as well as having greater recoil, muzzle flash, and wear on the weapon compared to other service pistol cartridges.
"The statement that the .357Sig, “has the ability to defeat hard targets better it can expand more with an equal bullet type.”, is not supported by either our research or that of the FBI FTU Ballistic Research Facility in Quantico, VA. When firing through heavy clothing, automotive steel panels, automobile windshield glass, interior wall segments, exterior wall segments, and plywood, both the .357 Sig Speer 125 gr JHP Gold Dot and 9mm Speer 124 gr +P JHP Gold Dot exhibited nearly identical penetration and expansion results THROUGH ALL THE DIFFERENT BARRIERS. Several .40 S&W and .45 ACP loads offered superior terminal performance through barriers compared to the 9mm and .357 Sig loads."
Bottom line is that the 357 Sig is a slightly faster 0.355"/9 mm bullet; it does not have the mass of the .40 S&W or .45 ACP.
I am looking at 2 separate FBI tests of 357 Sig 125 gr Gold Dot compared to 3 different FBI tests of 9 mm 124 gr Gold Dot: the results are basically the same in terms of expansion and penetration depths. In the steel testing, two of the 9mm's penetrated slightly deeper than the 357 Sig's--one 9mm expanded better, one the same, one slightly less. There was around 100-200 f/s or so velocity difference between the 9mm's and .357 Sig's, depending on which barrel lengths and lots were compared. As far as I can tell, terminal performance between the two calibers is roughly equivalent, with a slight edge to the 357 Sig because of its more consistent performance.
We have found .40 S&W 180 gr to perform very well against barriers--better than the 9 mm and .357 Sig. The CHP has continued to report greater success with their .40 S&W 180 gr JHP than with the .357 Magnum 125 gr JHP they previously issued.
I recently had an interesting conversation with an experienced ammunition engineer at one of the major ammo companies. He didn't particularly like the 357 Sig from an engineering perspective and described their difficulties in designing and producing 357 Sig ammunition which consistently performs as well as their ammunition in other service calibers. In particular, he felt his company's 357 Sig loads offered no better performance than their top 9 mm loads and stated their .40 S&W loads were superior in every respect to their 357 Sig ammunition. He firmly believes their .40 S&W offerings are the best performing duty ammunition his company produces.
the 357 Sig has nearly identical expansion and permanent crush cavity compared with the 9 mm, not .45 ACP. The only area where the 357 Sig is similar to .45 ACP is with the temporary cavity, however, since the stretch effects are relatively minor with all of these service calibers and cause no significant injury, the similarity is moot.
the 125 gr Speer Gold Dot and 125 gr Federal Tactical are the best 357 Sig loads we have tested, followed by the 125 gr Federal HST . The Win 125 gr Ranger Talon has suffered from some inconsistent performance in our testing--sometimes exhibiting over-expansion and underpenetration in bare gel, but adequate performance against denim.